Suicide cover - Demos

Aug 5, 2011 - A copy of the work or link to its use online is sent to Demos. You are welcome to ask for permission ... recent years, as growing numbers of UK citizens with chronic or terminal conditions travel to Dignitas .... cooperate with other agencies performing local suicide audits. · Several coroners indicated that they ...
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Louise Bazalgette and William Bradley are Researchers at Demos. Jenny Ousbey is a Junior Associate at Demos.

ISBN 978-1-906693-77-0 £10 © Demos 2011

The Truth About Suicide | Louise Bazalgette · William Bradley · Jenny Ousbey

Despite some progress made in our cultural attitudes to death, suicide remains very much a taboo subject. This discomfort has serious consequences, as it may be preventing proper analysis of the root causes of suicide. While some of the risk factors for suicide – such as gender and mental illness – are well-known, there is a vast hinterland of research waiting to be done on other potential factors. Physical illness is one such factor. Through a literature review, FOI requests, semi-structured interviews with coroners and an in-depth case study of Norwich District Coroner’s office, this pamphlet investigates the truth about suicide and serious physical illness. It finds that at least 10 per cent of the suicides that take place in the UK are by people who are chronically or terminally ill. But it also finds wide variation in how verdicts of suicide are recorded by coroners and made available to the public and policymakers. Better data will generate better policy. This pamphlet recommends that, as part of the Coalition Government’s ongoing consultation on preventing suicide, they should consider making local suicide audits compulsory, and that coroners’ duty to share information should be formalised. Only when we have a clear idea of the causes of suicide can we hope to develop an effective policy response.

“Hidden data provide new insights into life at the end…” THE TRUTH ABOUT SUICIDE Louise Bazalgette William Bradley Jenny Ousbey

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Demos is a think-tank focused on power and politics. Our unique approach challenges the traditional, ‘ivory tower’ model of policy making by giving a voice to people and communities. We work together with the groups and individuals who are the focus of our research, including them in citizens’ juries, deliberative workshops, focus groups and ethnographic research. Through our high quality and socially responsible research, Demos has established itself as the leading independent think-tank in British politics. In 2011, our work is focused on five programmes: Family and Society; Public Services and Welfare; Violence and Extremism; Public Interest and Political Economy. We also have two political research programmes: the Progressive Conservatism Project and Open Left, investigating the future of the centreRight and centre-Left. Our work is driven by the goal of a society populated by free, capable, secure and powerful citizens. Find out more at

First published in 2011 © Demos. Some rights reserved Magdalen House, 136 Tooley Street, London, SE1 2TU, UK ISBN 978 1 906693 77 0 Series design by modernactivity Typeset by Chat Noir Design, Charente Printed by Lecturis, Eindhoven Set in Gotham Rounded and Baskerville 10 Cover paper: Flora Gardenia Text paper: Munken Premium White

THE TRUTH ABOUT SUICIDE Louise Bazalgette William Bradley Jenny Ousbey

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